The university announced it will be increasing its student minimum wage incrementally — raising it to $12 in January 2023, $13.50 in September 2023, and ultimately $15 in September 2024.
This announcement comes after a campaign from Students for Students, where the organization acquired 1,400 signatures from members of the Emory community, along with 86 signatures from various organizations, in support of the minimum wage increase.
Alysha Posternak, the co-founder and co-president of Students for Students, said in a statement that she was ecstatic to hear about the wage increase, and that it was made possible through the support of the community.
“When I heard the news that Emory students were getting a $15 minimum wage, I was elated. I am so encouraged by how effectively the Emory community has come together and how quickly we were able to advocate for and achieve the $15 minimum wage,” Posternak said.
Students for Students was started by co-presidents Posternak and Elisabet Ortiz and secretary Isabela Galoustian back in April 2021.
The trio formed the organization for the purpose of providing funds for low-income students who are in need of basic necessities — such as rent, groceries, healthcare, etc.
To date, the organization has raised $9,477.51 and has dispensed a total of $7,956.50 to Emory University students that needed it.
Before helping to form Students for Students, Ortiz was once someone who was in need of the same basic necessities she now helps provide for others.
Coming from a life of poverty and abuse, Ortiz had started her new chapter as an Emory student last year. As a low-income student though, Ortiz had to deal with significant challenges.
Throughout her freshman year, Ortiz found herself homeless — having to live out of suitcases and stay with numerous people she had met through university.
Through this challenging experience, Ortiz says that it helped her realize that the community had provided more assistance to her than any sort of institution, and that the proper infrastructure for in-need students at Emory was insufficient.
This lack of infrastructure inspired Ortiz to start Students for Students, so that she could assist students who require the same type of help that she needed.
Having raised thousands of dollars already, as well as successfully helping to increase the minimum wage in support of students, Ortiz says that this is just the beginning for the organization that she helped create.
“This win is going to mean improving the lives of over 5,000 student-workers on our campus. This is a win for higher education, for the South, and for students with my experiences everywhere,” Ortiz said in a statement.
“I, and so many other students, have felt powerless alone, but this win shows that when we come together, we are unstoppable. We will not stop fighting to make education equitable for everyone. This win is just the beginning of what our community can do.”